‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’
By Mitch Burns
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophie Cookson, Sofia Boutella, Jack Davenport, Edward Holcroft, Samantha Womack, and Mark Hamill
After viewing ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ It’s quite evident of Matthew Vaughn’s love for the spy genre and films such as ‘James Bond’, ‘Bourne’ and others. Vaughn takes the best bits of these spy films, adds the style and violence he gave to 2010’s ‘Kick-Ass’ and we are left with ‘Kingsman: The Secret Servce’.
‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ begins with a mission in the middle east, Galahad (Colin Firth), Merlin (Mark Strong) and two gentleman vying to be Lancelot, the newest member of the Kingsman. When the mission goes wrong, and one trainee sacrifices himself to save the others, Galahad (Firth) takes the blame, and visits this mans widow (Samantha Womack) and son, Eggsy.
17 years later, and Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now an adult. Through a series of events, involving stealing a car. Eggsy meets up with Galahad again, Galahad sees something in the young man and decides to try him out to be a Kingsman.
Eggsy, and a group of other young adults, begin to try out to become a Kingsman, they are trying out to be the new Lancelot. The training is seen over by Merlin (Mark Strong), who eliminates each candidate one by one.
Meanwhile, Galahad (Firth) is investigating the death of the former Lancelot (Jack Davenport), who was on a mission to rescue a Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill). Galahad’s investigation leads him to Celebrity philanthropist Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) and his assistant Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), and a terrorist plot involving Cellphones, SIM cards and the fall of mankind.
‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ doesn’t tread much new ground in terms of story, it is all rather a bit been there, done that. Down on his luck kid, given an opportunity of a lifetime, some training montages, bad guys have a plan to take over the world, and agents with little training have to (try to) save the day.
In the grand scheme of things that may bog down other movies, but here the story feels secondary to the other aspects of the film. It’s witty humor, riveting action, likeable characters, and an R rating that gives the film it’s edge, and makes it worth seeing. If you saw this in the theater with some friends, or rented it, you would not be disappointed. It’s one that could have made it with the biggest and best of the Summer blockbusters.
The film is wonderfully cast, it’s only Michael Caine who leaves the film a bit underused. I had my reservations about Colin Firth, he can certainly pull of suave and sophisticated, but I didn’t know he could pull off the action portion; and if you don’t find him believable in the role, you will after the “Church scene”, which is all I’ll say. The films two young leads, Taron Egerton (Eggsy) and Sophie Cookson (Roxy) are sickeningly likeable, and I appreciated the choice to not have them be romantically linked.
Samuel L. Jackson definitely makes for an interesting villain, it’s Firth’s Character Galahad who says:
“I always felt that the old Bond films were as good as the villain. As a child, I rather fancied a futuristic colorful megalomaniac”.
Megalomaniac isn’t a far off description of Jackson’s villain Valentine, he even has a female henchman, with razor-sharp legs that can saw a man in half.
It’s Valentine’s evil plan that is a bit farfetched and over-the-top, if the film doesn’t lose you with its stylistic violence, it might here. It’s impossible to buy into a lot of the plot, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have fun. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ relies heavily on its audience sitting back and enjoying the ride, and not thinking too much deep. It’s a fun ride for sure.
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